1. Get financially ready. Find out your credit score and if necessary, work on strengthening your credit. Our CreditBuilder loans can help! Save up for closing costs and potentially a down payment. We offer 0% down payment loans for eligible borrowers*, but even with a 0% down payment loan, you’ll need between 1-4% of the home price for closing costs. 2. Make a plan. Look at your income and expenses to decide how much to budget for a home. If you’d like some guidance as you make your plan and work towards your financial goals, get in touch with our nonprofit financial coaching partner GreenPath. GreenPath offers Self-Help members free, unbiased financial coaching to support you as you achieve your goals. 3. Connect with a lender. Our experienced loan officers will talk with you to understand your home-buying goals and your financial situation. Not sure whether you’re ready? Don’t count yourself out! Give us a call. With our low down-payment options and flexible underwriting, you may be able to qualify for a home loan sooner than you think. 4. Pre-qualify for a loan. After your initial conversation, your home loan officer will ask you to fill out our pre-qualification application and return it along with supporting documents like your tax returns, W2s, pay stubs and bank statements. If you pre-qualify for a loan, we’ll issue a pre-qualification letter for a certain amount. Pre-qual letters help establish you as a serious buyer by showing sellers that you have mortgage financing lined up. 5. Find a real estate agent and look for homes. Ask friends and family for real estate agent recommendations, and talk with potential agents to find someone you’re comfortable working with. Your real estate agent will help you find properties in your price range and see homes in person. You can prepare for your home search by making a list of your needs, wants, deal breakers and areas where you’re willing to compromise. 6. Make an offer. Once you've found the right home for you, your agent will help you make an offer. They'll also be able to help you navigate any negotiations. 7. Get a home inspection. After your offer is accepted, your real estate agent will help you line up a home inspection. The inspector will examine the property and let you know about any issues or needed repairs, particularly any that might impact your decision to buy the house. 8. Apply for a mortgage. Once your offer has been accepted, it's also time to come back to your loan officer to submit a full mortgage application. Your loan officer will give you a loan estimate, which lays out exactly how much you can expect to pay at closing and over the life of the loan. This is also the step at which you’ll lock in your interest rate. 9. Wait for approval. This can be a stressful step, but we'll keep you informed every step of the way. Your completed application will now be processed, which means we’ll order an appraisal for the property, coordinate with any down payment assistance providers, underwrite the loan and more. This step typically takes between 35 – 45 days. 10. Close the loan! In the last few days before closing, you’ll have a chance to review the final paperwork and ask any questions. At the closing meeting, you’ll pay closing costs and any down payment, sign the loan documents, and get the keys to your new home. Once closing is complete, you’ll officially be a homeowner! Ready to get started? Connect with our experienced home mortgage team today. First Name* Click to add (?) Last Name* Click to add (?) Email* Click to add (?) Phone Click to add (?) City* Click to add (?) State Florida North Carolina South Carolina Virginia Other County* Click to add (?) Zip Code* Click to add (?) Are you an SHCU member? YesNo Language Preference EnglishSpanish Prefer to call? Call us at 800-476-7428 Monday - Friday during business hours. If it is outside of business hours, a member of the home lending team will call you back within two business days.